White tufts of dog hair litter the house,
from the crack between the couch cushions
to the steps
to the bedroom carpet.
These are the remnants of husky coat-blowing season.
The howling, high-pitched neediness of a two-year-old
dog, of course,
as she throws a tantrum
reverberates off the cheap drywall.
She sticks her head between the living room curtains when I come home.
And keeps looking after I pet her.
First thing when she wakes up,
she checks the empty bed.
She stops for every car that drives by,
waiting anxiously to see you again.
I have my own rituals.
Delete your number in the morning.
Add it again after dinner.
Delete it again.
Take the whole bed for myself.
Wake up anxious in the middle of the night.
Consider texting you.
Fall asleep again.
When the dog isn’t crying,
chatter from the TV fills the silence.
The quiet at night fills my ears until all I hear is my heartbeat.
Your stuff hides in the house,
from the sock under the coffee table
to the old razor in the bathroom
to the ripped space poster hanging in your empty office.
These are the remnants of our life.